Feuchtenberger, Buck looking for state gold
Published 9:03 am Tuesday, May 24, 2016
There are probably not a lot of similarities between Elizabethton High track standout Heather Feuchtenberger and Happy Valley star Brianna Buck as far as track and field, but they both have the same goal that on paper looks very legitimate.
The goal is to bring a state championship back home to Carter County.
Feuchtenberger is currently second among times at the sectional meets across the state to CAK’s Rebecca Story, while Buck is among the personal bests in the high jump.
Feuchtenberger specializes in mid-distance races while Buck is more of a jumper. Both racers are very excited to be in the state meet and have a chance to represent their school.
Feuchtenberger’s journey has been a long one to reach Murfreesboro. Injuries and illness darkened her first two years in high school, but two ladies, Elizabethton High head coach Amber Abel and assistant coach Leslee Bradley, did all they could to make sure she could find the physical therapy and treatment she needed.
Feuchtenberger, now a junior, has been phenomenal this year. She truly has had a year for the ages, breaking the school record in the 400 at the Johnson City Invitational which was held for 21 years.
Feuchtenberger, though, gave credit to the people in her life who had meant the most in trying to make her a better track athlete.
“It was a long journey, but Coach Bradley and Coach Abel worked with me and now I am healthy and blessed to be able to compete with the people I am able to compete against,” said Feuchtenberger. “I am just really excited to be able to go to state.”
If Feuchtenberger is going to win the state 800 meters, the road is probably going to have to go through Story.
Story won four distance events at Thursday’s sectional and just edged Feuchtenberger to win the race.
Had Feuchtenberger’s time been ran in the middle and west sectionals, she would have won.
“She’s great competition,” said Feuchtenberger. “Being at state shows as a reminder that this is everything we have worked for. The sectionals were stressful, but the state will be more fun. We will be with everyone and we will have fun.”
Other Elizabethton athletes who on Saturday found out they had won at large berths include Emily Schubert and Camryn Koroma (discus) and Autumn Thomas (200).
Schubert of course is heading off to Duke to play basketball after the meet and for Feuchtenberger to have one last athletic event with the young lady who has been by her side through everything definitely makes this coming week more fun and memorable.
“It will be very memorable,” said Feuchtenberger. Emily Is on the 4×400 and 4×800 teams and it means the world to be able to be with her at state.”
Elizabethton head coach Amber Abel is very pleased to have four girls moving on to state.
“It’s great to be able to send four young ladies to state and celebrate the hard work they have put in,” said Abel.
Back to the other side of Elizabethton, Buck and Happy Valley head coach Matt Estep definitely share the belief that she has a legitimate shot to win a state championship.
Buck walked the isle on Sunday and picked up her diploma. Now, it’s back to the business of winning a state track and field championship for Happy Valley, something that hasn’t been done since David Hughes did it in 2003.
“I think she’s pretty excited,” said Happy Valley head coach Matt Estep. “Her whole goal this year was to get back to state. She will have another chance Thursday.”
As far as heights, it’s looking like the consistent high jump mark across the state is 5-2, which is right where Buck is at. If Buck can reach a personal best of 5-4, there is a good chance a state championship will be making it’s way to Powder Branch Road.
“She’s right there with the other girls,” said Estep. “Brianna has come close to 5-4 a couple of times. Hopefully next week we will be the week she gets it. I think 5-4 would be hard to beat.”
Happy Valley will have one other competitor in Murfreesboro. Daniel Runyon qualified in the state track and field meet in the pole vault after going 11 foot at sectionals.
“Daniel has worked hard,” said Estep. “Science Hill loaned him a pole after he bent his and he surprised the other kids. We are shooting for 11-6 or 12 at state.
The girls state meet takes place Thursday and the boys meet will take place Friday at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.